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FAME Trust Emerging Practitioner Award winner

02 Dec 2021
Toi Whakaari selects first FAME Trust Emerging Practitioner Award winner

Written by

The Big Idea
Dec 1, 2021

Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School has selected Maurea Perez-Varea as its first FAME Trust Emerging Practitioner award winner. The FAME Trust, in conjunction with the Acorn Foundation, has provided a $10,000 prize to each of six performing arts institutions across New Zealand to award to talented students in:

  • Music: instrumentalists, operatic singers, composers, producers, conductors, taonga puoro players
  • Contemporary Dance: dancers, choreographers, producers, kapa haka leaders
  • Theatre: actors, directors, playwrights, storytellers, theatrical technicians

Maurea is a Pasifika artist who has completed her second year of a Bachelor of Performing Arts (Acting) at Toi Whakaari. Born in Fiji, she was raised in Samoa and Tokelau before her family settled in Waiuku, South Auckland, where she finished secondary school at Waiuku College.

Maurea is concerned that much of the artistic content that is consumed by audiences and artists is not representative of our geographic region and, therefore, doesn’t properly honour indigenous people and their stories. Her artistic vision is to work with Māori and Pasifika peers to create cultural works with which audiences can empathise. She is particularly passionate about supporting the Tokelauan people and residents of other small Pacific islands facing the challenges of climate change to share their stories and explore their creativity.

“Winning this award, for me, is forming the foundation of a fruitful journey towards my artistic creativity as a diverse Pasifika Artist. I’m honoured and grateful to have my voice acknowledged not just for myself but for those thousands who walk behind me,” reflects Maurea on her selection for this prize.

The Acorn Foundation team joins the trustees of FAME to congratulate Maurea on her selection for the first FAME Trust Emerging Practitioner Award at Toi Whakaari!


Lori Luke, Acorn Foundation CEO

P: 07 579 9839  

E: [email protected]